Friday, December 28, 2007

Tinker to Evers to run, run, run

The walkway to the press box at the Florida Citrus Bowl is about five or six stories above the field and provides an excellent view into old Tinker Field, the baseball stadium last used by the Orlando Rays, an old Double A team in the Rays organization.

The ballpark, which opened in 1914, sits next to the football stadium, used Friday for the Champs Sports Bowl between Michigan State and Boston College.

I am a big fan of old baseball stadiums, something not shared by the members of the Rays pitching staff.

“I hate that place,” former Rays pitcher Rick White once told me.

Now I know why.

It is 425 feet to center field, which meant pitchers doing their normal pre-game running from the foul line to center field had farther to run at Tinker than any other park they encountered.

Understand this about pitchers: They hate to run.

White compared running wind sprints at Tinker Field to the hallway scene in the movie “Poltergeist.”

“The outfield never ends,” White said. “You just keep running and running and running.”

No comments: